Is God a Sinner?

She stated to me,

The biggest problem with Christianity is how often hypocrisy is committed by their own God, and the ensuing justification they use as such. “DO NOT KILL” being a Commandmemt [sic], but then “KILL WITCHES” being a rule in the Bible.

I replied,

The commandment is “do not murder,” which differs from “kill.” The distinction is the intent. If the terms were equal, we would have prisons full of soldiers for having “murdered” the enemy during wars.

For personal verification, can you tell me where in the Bible the commandment to kill witches is located?

I never said it was a commandment.

Okay, where is the “rule [located] in the Bible”?

There is a passage that says “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”

Again, where?

Exodus 22:18

Please do not interpret this as cynical or “preaching.” I enjoy conducting an exegesis as it allows me to learn more about the Bible.

The word you refer to translates as “one who whispers a spell, enchants, practices magic.” The person charged with witchcraft would have stated earlier their rejection and denouncement of the God of Israel.

Further, in examining the wider text, this verse is among the social rules of the Israelites. Thus, it does not apply to non-Israelites who reject the God of Israel but to an Israelite who rejected the God of Israel.

Nevertheless, no Israelite has existed since the Babylonian empire destroyed the Kingdom of Israel. Therefore, anyone who applies this rule after the Babylonian invasion is a hypocrite, taking the reference out of context.

I expressed earlier that Christians can be hypocrites; I agree with you on that. However, you stated, “their own God” is hypocritical. This exegesis of Exodus 22.18, to which you refer, argues against your claim “their own God” is hypocritical.

Christians are human. Humans are hypocritical. Thus, Christians can be hypocritical.

Please put that in laymen [sic] terms. I appreciate the detail, but it’s about 10 PM (22:00) where I am, and my brain is kind lagging right now.

Okay. Many people take Bible passages out of context, including this one. This passage was only applicable during the Kingdom of Israel, which has not existed in about 2,500 years. Any person who has applied this text over the past 2,500 years is a hypocrite. Humans are hypocrites; however, God is not.

Okay then.

“God is a jealous God.”

“Jealousy is a sin.”

Correct?

Good question, people have debated this question for millennia. Yet again, it depends upon context (e.g., saying water is “wet” and centuries later state that water is “cold” does not form a contradiction, which differs from hypocrisy).

We can find references to your statements “Jealousy is a sin” and “God is a jealous God” in various locations throughout the Bible. However, lumping these references together would be erroneous since this would take each reference out of context.

Thus, instead of considering each reference, I will attempt to use reasoning to refute your inferred conclusion:

God is a jealous God. Jealousy is a sin. Therefore, God sins.

This is not hypocrisy but a contradiction. For example, “a = not a” or “1 does not equal 1.”

From a Christian perspective, God is without sin. Thus, if God sins, God is not God. Therefore, I will refute “God sins.”

First, allow me to offer an example of a contextual error we as humans make: Does stating, “All men are created equal” mean that “all women are not created equal”? Humans have a tendency to add meaning to statements unrelated to the original intent.

“Sin” is a word to which people have applied countless meanings for centuries. Consider the phrase, “what is one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Going another step, “what one person considers just another person considers unjust.”

This leads us into the debated realm of ethics. In an episode of The Simpsons, Fat Tony asks Bart, “Is it wrong for a man to steal a loaf of bread to feed his own family?”

Bart responds, “No.”

Fat Tony replies, “Let us say it is not a loaf of bread the family needs but a truckload of cigarettes; would it still be wrong?” I will allow you to decide the validity of Fat Tony’s argument for yourself.

Next, the Greek word translated as “sin” is harmatia, which means, “missing the mark.” Envision an archer shooting an arrow at the target and missing the bull’s eye, thus missing the mark, falling short of the intended target.

Both the Old Testament and the New Testament refer to Creation as the glorification of God. The purpose of Creation was to reflect God’s glory. When the New Testament authors mention harmatia (“sin”), they mean that as part of Creation, humans have missed the mark, fallen short of their purpose to reflect God’s glory. Created in the image of God, humans are to reflect the qualities of God [e.g., love, truth, justice, mercy, etc.].

Consider now the parent-child relationship. When a child misbehaves, people view it as reflecting poor parenting (i.e., “They just didn’t raise the child up right”). Parents on occasion ask themselves, “What could I have done better? What could I have done different?”

Sin is failing to be who we were intended to be. Instead of reflecting God’s character, we make ourselves God. We are selfish and self-centered. “I don’t care what you say; I will live my life the way I d@mn well please and don’t you dare touch my cookie because I ain’t sharing.”

The essence of hypocrisy is the statement, “Do as I say and not as I do.” Consider which is easier: explaining how to use a can opener or showing someone how to use a can opener. Humans learn by watching how others do things. The statement ignores how we learn.

We have learned and continue to follow the wrong example, the world’s example, and not God’s example—Jesus—God incarnate—God in human flesh. We fall short of the example. We miss the mark. We sin.

However, God forgives us, if we would only accept that forgiveness.

When we strive to live our lives the way we want, the way we desire, then we reject God’s forgiveness, we miss the mark, fail to be who we were created to be.

We sin.

With all of this in consideration, my reasoning shows what is right or wrong, good or evil, trash or treasure, sin or not sin, depends upon one’s perspective, how one views a certain situation.

Returning to the parent-child relationship: If I stood beside my mom, despite all she has done in fulfilling her role as my mom, and referred to another person as my mom, is it a “sin” for my mom to be “jealous,” angry, sad?

Perspective.

Context.

When we examine the Bible from the wrong perspective and not God’s perspective, we are subject to take the Word of God out of context. We miss the mark and fall short in understanding what God says to us, God’s own handiwork.

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